Imagine finding a $20 bill in your pocket. Regardless of how it got there, it feels like free money.
Although not as easy as simply finding money in your pocket, the following tips can help you save money in small ways over time. By being mindful about where your money is going and what you really want to spend it on, you’ll be surprised how easy – and painless – it is to save.
- Pack your lunch. Packing a lunch instead of eating out could save you upwards of $1,800.00 per year. On top of that, packing your lunch can also be a much healthier option.
- Make your own coffee. Spending just $2 on a cup of coffee each work day adds up to $500 per year, therefore even if it costs you one dollar to make your own coffee, you’ll still save around $250 per year.
- Give yourself an allowance. This can be difficult, but if you give yourself a limit of what you want to spend in a certain amount of time, it will be a guide when making the tough spending decisions.
- Buy your groceries in bulk. This isn’t always possible, but can save you money in two ways. First, the unit cost of buying a larger size of something (cereal, peanut butter, toilet paper, etc.) is typically cheaper. Second, if you stock up on essentials, you’ll likely make fewer trips to the store and therefore have fewer chances to be tempted to purchase non-essentials while you are there.
- Buy generic items. The generic or store brand versions of items are significantly cheaper. Sometimes buying a brand name product is necessary, but when you can, buy the generic store brand and save.
- Don’t carry excess cash or credit cards. Impulse spending is less of a temptation when you need to go to the bank or ATM to get money.
- Pay off your credit card Don’t carry a balance. If, for instance, you carry a balance of $5,000.00 on a charge card at 19 percent interest, you’re giving away $1000.00 per year in interest.
- Take advantage of “end of the season” sales. Holiday decorations are always on sale after the holidays. The price of candy is reduced the morning after Halloween. Cars of a previous model go on sale in September when the new models roll in.
- Make your own greeting cards. Greeting cards can be expensive, and as beautiful and thoughtful as they are, they are likely to end up in a trash can after they’ve been read. Instead, make your own personalized card for less than $1.
- Save your change. Put your loose change into a jar at the end of each day. These coins will add up little by little over the course of a year or more.